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A Comprehensive Review on Equine Influenza Virus: Etiology, Epidemiology, Pathobiology, Advances in Developing Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Control Strategies

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  • Raj K Singh
  • Kuldeep Dhama
  • Kumaragurubaran Karthik
  • Rekha Khandia
  • Ashok Munjal
  • Sandip K Khurana
  • Sandip Chakraborty
  • Yashpal S Malik
  • Nitin Virmani
  • Rajendra Singh
  • Bhupendra N Tripathi
  • Muhammad Munir
  • Johannes H van der Kolk
Article number1941
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/09/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Frontiers in Microbiology
Number of pages26
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Among all the emerging and re-emerging animal diseases, influenza group is the prototype member associated with severe respiratory infections in wide host species. Wherein, Equine influenza (EI) is the main cause of respiratory illness in equines across globe and is caused by equine influenza A virus (EIV-A) which has impacted the equine industry internationally due to high morbidity and marginal morality. The virus transmits easily by direct contact and inhalation making its spread global and leaving only limited areas untouched. Hitherto reports confirm that this virus crosses the species barriers and found to affect canines and few other animal species (cat and camel). EIV is continuously evolving with changes at the amino acid level wreaking the control program a tedious task. Until now, no natural EI origin infections have been reported explicitly in humans. Recent advances in the diagnostics have led to efficient surveillance and rapid detection of EIV infections at the onset of outbreaks. Incessant surveillance programs will aid in opting a better control strategy for this virus by updating the circulating vaccine strains. Recurrent vaccination failures against this virus due to antigenic drift and shift have been disappointing, however better understanding of the virus pathogenesis would make it easier to design effective vaccines predominantly targeting the conserved epitopes (HA glycoprotein). Additionally, the cold adapted and canarypox vectored vaccines are proving effective in ceasing the severity of disease. Furthermore, better understanding of its genetics and molecular biology will help in estimating the rate of evolution and occurrence of pandemics in future. Here, we highlight the advances occurred in understanding the etiology, epidemiology and pathobiology of EIV and a special focus is on designing and developing effective diagnostics, vaccines and control strategies for mitigating the emerging menace by EIV.